Tips and Guides

RL Ideas: 5 Steps to Eco-Living

Practical tips to help you create an eco-friendly home


Creating an eco-friendly home is not that daunting. Let these easy but practical tips get you and your family started.

Styling by Dagny Madamba. Photographed by Dairy Darilag.

Read the original article ("Going Eco”) in the November 2013 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details. 

Tips to keep in mind:

Use indigenous materials.

“This is more economical and leaves less carbon footprint,” says interior designer Willie Garcia. “Always check the process and component of the materials you are going to use.”

Regularly clear clutter.

A house that’s always free of unnecessary items will always look nice no matter how simple it is.

Reuse, recycle, reduce.

It’s a cliché, but one can’t put enough emphasis on these three Rs. In the Guilas household, scratch paper is used whenever River sits down with her seven-year-old son Tayshaun to study—a practice that also teaches the young boy to be environmentally conscious.

Do some DIY.

 “You may search for articles on DIY crafts using recycled materials in the Internet,” encourages River.

Spread the word.

“Don't forget to teach all those in your household how to be environmentally friendly,” adds River, who always reminds their household help to practice trash segregation.

Be inspired by the Guilas household. Here are photos of their eco-friendly home:


Even though the kitchen cabinets were already in place, Willie managed to inject eco-friendly design into them. Instead of throwing away old newsprints, the designer tore out pages and made them into a collage that would serve as the doors’ design. She then coated the doors with water-based polyurethane, a chemical that does not release harmful fumes. 

Dining Area

This breakfast nook sets apart the kitchen from the dining area, and is the first thing guests see upon entering the Guilas’ home. Interior designer Willie Garcia made this nook out of scrap wood from her furniture shop in Biñan, Laguna. Behind it is the pantry, which is concealed by sliding wooden doors whose details are also made of scrap wood. 

Outdoor Nook

A great way to be eco-conscious at home is to go for customized furniture pieces made of recycled or indigenous materials. These will definitely make for standout accent pieces.

Nesting table made of wood shavings and cement binder, P20,000/set of 3; pillow cases made of discarded foil packs, P500 (small) and P800 (large); “suman” bag made of newspaper and scrap fabric, P350; refurbished red chair, P10,000; horse metal sculpture by Dei Jardiniano, P10,000.

Table Setup

Want to have an eco-friendly household but don’t know where to start?

Take small steps by using small items made of recycled materials, like these Junk Not! products:

Florets made of old magazine and wire, P35 each; woven placemats made of discarded foil packs, P150/set of 3; eco-tire wire, which can be used as napkin holders or curtain tiebacks, P200/set of 6.

*Prices are subject to change. Learn more about Junk Not! by visiting their Facebook Page.


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